College students dream of a smooth transition from university into the workforce, filled with exciting opportunities and a new beginning. This, however, is not the reality anymore for some current and former college students.
The Safer at Home order has forced many college students to move back to their hometowns. Because many students’ post-graduation plans have fallen through, many are feeling helpless and stressed.
Pierce College alumni Danielle Padilla has been affected by the countrywide campus closures. She said she feels that the quality of her education decreased despite the continuation of classes and internships.
“I am constantly facing distractions from home life,” Padilla wrote. “I’m tired all the time trying to make school work despite a three-hour time difference with my teachers and classmates.”
Padilla had 36 hours to move out of her dorm suite at Boston University and then relocated to another part of campus. This was the moment she realized how uncertain her future was due to COVID-19.
“I planned to stay in Boston for the summer because of a job that granted me free on-campus housing,” Padilla wrote. “However, my school announced they will not re-open the campus for summer.”
Instead, Padilla must work remotely and won’t gain the on-site experiences she wanted.
USC Annenberg student Jessica Doherty had to re-configure her post grad plans as she geared up to move back home to New York.
“I applied to a lot of post grad internship programs, but many of them were cancelled or postponed,” Doherty wrote in an interview via text messages.
She is currently searching for opportunities in New York City, where she will be able to save money by living with her family.
Although Doherty had to change her career blueprint, she has found a silver lining from her situation.
“I was planning on taking the GRE’s [graduate record examination] because it’s easier when you’re mentally in school mode,” Doherty wrote. “Now I am looking into grad programs earlier and more seriously than I did before, while also taking the time to update my portfolio materials.”
USC has also announced that graduation will be postponed, a decision Doherty is grateful for.
“It makes it easier to feel like students will eventually be able to get some sense of closure,” Doherty wrote.
Other students have less options during the pandemic.
Josh Yazditibar is a San Diego State University student who intended to work as an EMT (emergency medical technician) during post graduation to gain experience for medical school. He has now put this plan on the back burner.
“For now I am just waiting until things get under control to resume my original plan,” Yazditibar said in a phone interview. “I’ll most likely do some studying on my own in order to stay focused on my long term goals. However, I have a specific path to follow and there are not many possible deviations.”
Despite how COVID-19 has affected his course of action, Yazditibar is trying to stay optimistic.
“The whole situation is pretty weird for students,” Yazditibar said. “I’m trying to look at it positively, like something good will come out of it.”